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What Is Banquet Style Seating and How Is It Set Up?

- 7 min read

At large gatherings, the arrangement of the tables and chairs can significantly impact the flow of the event and the guests’ comfort. There are many styles of event setup, including banquet style seating. It is important to choose a layout that will work best for each unique event.

As you work with clients to determine how to best accommodate their event requests, you may wonder, what is banquet style seating? With this seating arrangement, guests are seated at round tables of 8-10 per table. Tables are comfortably spread out so that it’s easy to move around the room.

We’ll walk you through which events would benefit most from this seating arrangement and point out other styles you can try should your clients’ needs change.

What Does a Banquet Style Seating Plan Look Like?

Banquet-style seating usually involves round tables with banquet chairs positioned around the table pointing inward. Each table can generally fit between six and ten people comfortably, depending on table size.

Banquet seating is popular for formal, casual, business, or family events because the seating arrangement gives everyone in a group equal opportunity to talk to each other. It’s more egalitarian than family style seating, which features a long table where guests may be seated too far from each other to talk; family style seating often has a head person at the top of the table who traditionally directs conversation and people seated at opposite ends of the table often can’t converse comfortably. With banquet seating styles, everyone at a table can converse freely.

Banquet Chairs Setup Around Tables

Banquet-style seating is beneficial at various kinds of events, including the following:

• Holiday parties
• Charity events
• Gala dinners
• Business conferences
• Weddings
• Baby showers
• Anniversary celebrations
• Award shows

5 Benefits of Banquet Style Seating

When a client is organizing an event at your venue and plans to use chairs with tables, they may consider a banquet style seating plan. There are many benefits to this form of seating.

Large Room with Round Tables and Chairs Setup

1. Perfect for eating

Whether the event includes a full meal or just appetizers or desserts, banquet seating is ideal for eating. Guests can eat comfortably at the table with plenty of room for plates, glasses, utensils, and shared condiments and centerpieces in the center.

2. Ideal for conversation

With banquet seating, everyone seated at a table can easily see one another and talk. Guests can converse comfortably without having to lean around other seats or talk over people to make eye contact.

3. Easy to move around

With round tables, it’s easy for people to move around the tables should they want to socialize or walk to the front of the event space to give a presentation or speech. This also makes it easy for event staff to serve and clear dishes.

4. Easy to decorate

Using round tables minimizes the number of centerpieces needed, making it more cost effective to add decorations. One centerpiece is perfect for a table of up to 10 guests, whereas other banquet seating styles require more centerpieces and decorations per person. For instance, a long table set up in Family Style Dining often requires one centerpiece for every four guests.

5. Perfect for sharing information and resources

At a round table, people can easily share paperwork, writing tools, or other items amongst themselves, making it easy to collaborate during business meetings or conferences.

Different Forms of Event Seating

We’ve pointed out the major benefits of banquet seating styles with round tables, but there are a few other popular forms of seating to compare it to. Consider these styles when planning events so you know which will work best for the occasion.

Diagram Showing Ideal Table & Chair Positions

1. Theater seating

With theater seating, the people in the room sit in rows facing forward, just like they would in a movie theater. This arrangement is a good option for presentations or performances, although it’s not ideal when serving food or drinks, as guests don’t have tables. 

2. Cabaret seating

Cabaret-style seating is characterized by round tables with chairs arranged around 2/3 of the table, leaving an open end. This setup focuses guests’ attention toward a stage or focal point, making it ideal for events with performances or presentations.

3. Cocktail arrangement

At a cocktail-arranged event, guests can mingle and stand at small, tall tables (called highboys) for easy conversation. This arrangement is ideal when you want people to socialize and meet the other guests at the event.

4. Herringbone seating

Herringbone seating allows people to sit at long, rectangular tables, tilted slightly to face the center of a stage or performance area.

5. Horsehoe seating

In a horseshoe setup, tables and chairs are set up in a large U shape facing the center of the room, where a presenter might speak.

Long Room With Tables and Chairs Setup In A U-Shape for a Presentation
Horseshoe setup. Reveal Linenless Fixed Width Tables & Encore Banquet Chairs (Open Square Back), Karol Hotel

6. Classroom seating

A classroom arrangement resembles theater seating, with all guests sitting in rows that face forward. The main difference is that classroom seating includes tables. 

7. Hollow square seating

In a hollow square, tables are in a large square or rectangular shape, with chairs around the outside edge, facing inward. This is an excellent arrangement for business meetings where people must collaborate and use tools.

8. Family style seating

Characterized by long rows of rectangular tables, this event dining setup is almost as popular as banquet style seating. Sometimes it’s combined with other types of seating arrangements. For example, family style tables are often set up for the head table, with the rest of the guests being seated at round tables.

9. Banquet Style Seating

Banquet style seating, ideal for diverse events, features round tables seating 6-10 guests each, fostering egalitarian conversations. It enhances interaction, allows easy room navigation, and simplifies decoration. Perfect for holiday parties, weddings, business meetings, and more, it ensures comfort and facilitates efficient sharing of resources.

To Host the Best Events, Choose the Best Furniture Available

Whether your clients prefer banquet seating or wish to try one of the other seating arrangements outlined, the quality of the furniture makes a difference in the overall comfort of those in attendance. MityLite has the best options available, with a range of tables and chairs designed for events of all types.

When you are looking for tables, chairs, and other event products to enhance your event space’s versatility and overall appeal, contact MityLite to learn more about what’s available and how we can help.

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